The purpose of the Confederation Project of the 1860s was to once again separate the English Protestant Upper Canada and the French Catholic Lower Canada into two provinces, while uniting these with the other provinces of the British Empire in North America into a strong, new, federal kingdom, under the reign of the monarch but governed by her own parliament in Ottawa, modelled after the one in Westminster, a new country that would not sever her ties to the British Empire as the United States had done, but would deliberately remain within the Empire and later the Commonwealth that it evolved into. This project was undertaken in the face of a threat posed by the American republic. In the decades between the American Revolution and Confederation this threat had taken an overtly military form. In the War of 1812 to 1815 the Americans had invaded Upper and Lower Canada intent on conquest, but expressing themselves in terms of “liberation”, apparently half-believing their own propaganda about how those who had rejected their Revolution would now welcome them as “liberators”. Instead, they found that the English and French Canadians rejected them as invaders. Armed and active in their militias, they fought in defense of their provinces alongside the Imperial army and its Indian allies – two Confederacies, Tecumseh’s and the older Iroquois or Six Nations Confederacy – and successfully repelled the invasion. Later in that century, American commentators began to speak of their republic’s “Manifest Destiny” to expand throughout the entire North American continent, and while this came up primarily in the context of discussions of their war with Mexico, the leaders of what would become the Dominion of Canada recognized that the American dream of conquest continued to extend northward as well. While the triumph of the Union in the American internecine war of 1861 to 1865 was a huge defeat for the party of Manifest Destiny (Democrats), especially when after the assassination of Lincoln, his successor Johnson was rendered impotent by a Congress under the total control of the most radical Republicans, this did not lessen the theat. The local leadership in Canada had supported the position of the leadership of the Empire with regards to the American internal conflict. We opposed slavery on principle – the Empire had long abolished slavery within its borders and had set out at great expense to end the international slave trade – and we opposed the Union’s invasion of the seceding Southern states on principle. While we maintained official neutrality in the conflict, we provided sanctuary to Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America, after the war, just as we had provided sanctuary for those who had escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad. Recognizing that the triumphant Republicans, led by their most sanctimonious and self-righteous, would not appreciate our having given sanctuary to Davis and that they, who having just waged a “total war”, “scorched earth” and all, against those they regarded as their fellow citizens and before the blood had even dried on their swords had started up the Indian Wars again, were in a rather blood-thirsty spirit, the Canadian leaders saw the threat as having, if anything, increased. The Confederation talks had already begun before the war ended. The British North America Act was signed by Queen Victoria on 29 March, 1867, eleven days before the two year anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House.
After the Dominion of Canada was born on 1 July, 1867, the threat persisted but took on a new form. Economic union now became the siren song, enticing Canadians to jump off the ship of Confederation and drown in the waters of total submergence in the United States. (1) Economic submersion leads to cultural submersion and then to political submersion. The old Tories, from Sir John A. Macdonald to John G. Diefenbaker understood this and championed a policy of economic patriotism to protect Canada from this threat. The Liberals were the fifth column advocating economic union with America. In some cases, as with Goldwin Smith in his Canada and the Canadian Question (1891) they openly called for the abandonment of the Confederation Project and full union with the United States. Then, in the 1980s, Progressive Conservative leader and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney completely flip-flopped, betrayed his own party’s traditional position and adopted that of the Liberals, and signed the Free Trade Agreement with the United States. This was “managed free trade”, as all free trade agreements that have ever been signed are, and not the “free trade” that Adam Smith and David Ricardo had in mind (2) but with regards to it being a betrayal of both the Conservative Party’s traditional position and Confederation this makes no difference. Indeed, this kind of “free trade” may very well be a quicker route to cultural and political union than the kind envisioned by the classical economists. About this time a populist party started up in the West that objected to the Conservatives under Mulroney and his immediate predecessors having abandoned their principles. Ironically, Mulroney’s single biggest abandonment of principles – the Free Trade Agreement – did not figure into their case against him. If anything, they, who gave their party the name that the pre-Confederation movement that birthed the Liberal Party had gone by, wanted even more economic union with the United States. While all of this temporarily put the Grits in a tight spot – their clothes had been stolen – when, in the next Dominion election, they returned to power, due both to the West’s defection to Reform and the general disgust with Mulroney that wiped out the Conservatives, they, that is the Liberals, under Jean Chretien quickly put their free trade hats back on, and finished the negotiations that expanded the agreement into NAFTA, including Mexico. The Liberals remained in power for a very long time, until the Progressive Conservatives and Reform united, first into the Canadian Alliance, then into the current Conservative Party – arguably more progressive than when it had Progressive in its name – and Stephen Harper led it, now totally devoid of its economic patriotism, to power. Then in 2013 one of those who had advocated for the union of the supposedly right-of-centre parties to defeat the Liberals, Diane Francis of the National Post wrote the repulsive Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country, in which, as is evident from the title, she took up Liberal Goldwin Smith’s old cause from 1891. (3)
A confession is in order at this point. In January 1988 when the Free Trade Agreement was signed I was in favour of it. A few years later I would become one of the Westerners who defected to the populist Reform Party out of disillusionment with the left-ward drift of the Progressive Conservative Party. In less than a decade I would grow just as disillusioned with the Reform Party when I realized that it was controlled by neoconservatives who actually wanted the cultural and political Americanization of Canada. That is something I had never been – I have been the old kind of Loyalist, Royalist, Canadian Tory from the moment I was capable of forming a thought on the matter. In 1988, I could see only the economic advantages to both countries of free trade and did not yet understand that it was a wedge that would open the door to the Americanization of our country. In my defense, I was a few months short of my twelfth birthday when the Free Trade Agreement was signed.
Looking back on our history now, it is evident that the economic patriots knew what they were talking about. It has already been observed that Confederation took place in the period in which the United States had come under the control of the most radical elements of the Republican Party. To this should be the added the observations that a) this fell shortly after the period in which the new Manchester style of factory manufacturing had taken off and spread throughout Western Civilization transforming it economically, for better or for worse, into what we now call an industrial civilization and in both the United States and Canada, the manufacturing sectors were still in their infancy, and b) the main element in the platform of the Republican Party in the nineteenth century was not abolitionism but the Hamilton-Clay “American System” – a wall of high tariffs protecting America’s fledgling manufacturing sector, the investment of the revenue from the tariffs in canals, railways, and other economic infrastructure facilitating domestic trade, and central banking. With the exception of central banking which did not take root in the United States until the First World War, this system was in place in the United States in the last half of the nineteenth century. Confederation would not have had a chance of succeeding over the long run had Sir John A. Macdonald not adopted his National Policy. While there is irony in the fact that the National Policy, apart from which much of Canada would likely have been gobbled up by the United States by the early twentieth century, is very similar to the American System in that it too involved protecting the manufacturing sector with tariffs and investing in infrastructure – especially the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway that allowed goods to be transported within the Dominion from coast to coast without diversion to the United States – that is the nature of economic patriotism. Similar measures in different countries protect the economies of each and keep them distinct.
That having been said, even with Sir John’s National Policy in place the gravity of the larger American economy proved difficult for many Canadian businessmen to resist. One classic example of this was the McLaughlin Motor Car Company. This was founded as McLaughlin Carriage Works, a company that made horse-drawn carriages, by Robert McLaughlin in Oshawa, Upper Canada two years after Confederation. It grew to become the largest carriage factory in the entire British Empire. It was converted into an automobile manufacturer by the founder’s son, Colonel Sam McLaughlin shortly after the turn of the century. In 1918 Sam McLaughlin sold the company to the larger American firm General Motors. It became the Canadian subsidiary of General Motors, with McLaughlin as director of the branch. Clearly Sam McLaughlin was not foresighted enough to see that the day would come when a Liberal Prime Minister would deliberately set out to sabotage Canada’s fossil fuel industry and drive up the cost of petroleum making it near unaffordable for the average Canadian. Had he done so, he might have stuck to his father’s original business model, awaiting the day when the horse-and-buggy made its long overdue comeback. (4)
McLaughlin sold his company to General Motors two years before the first premiership of William Lyon Mackenzie King, the archenemy of Macdonald’s National Policy, a fact that demonstrates the point that the American economic pull was strong even with the National Policy in place. McLaughlin was hardly the only example of this sort of thing. By 1965, when George Grant wrote his Lament for a Nation, enough Canadian manufacturers had become subsidiaries of larger American firms that the great Tory philosopher argued that we had become a “branch plant satellite” of the United States. This description, of course, presupposes an industrial-manufacturing based economy for both countries which accords with the situation in 1965. Grant lived until 1988, the year of the Free Trade Agreement, by which time another consequence of hitching our economic wagon to the star of the United States was looming on the horizon. By this time, the leadership of the American republic had turned against its own middle class and begun allowing its manufacturing companies to start exporting well-paying factory jobs to Communist countries, Third World kleptocracies, and other failed states where workers are paid a fraction of a living without benefits. (5) The integration of Canada’s manufacturing sector into America’s meant that the same thing happened here. While some comparable or even higher-paying jobs were created in the tech industry that was starting to boom, these were far fewer than the manufacturing jobs lost through outsourcing and those who in the height of Canadian and American manufacturing were employed in factories actually making things, now found that the jobs available were in the far lesser paying retail and service sectors. In the decades since the Free Trade Agreement these sectors have conspicuously undergone the same sort of Americanization that had previously occurred in the manufacturing sector. Consider two of the most important historical Canadian retailers. The Hudson’s Bay Company’s history has been intertwined with that of our country since long before Confederation. In 2006 it was bought by an American billionaire, was sold to an American investment firm two years later, and has since been put on the public stock exchange, taken private again, and is now currently owned by private shareholders headed by an American CEO. The retail department store founded by Timothy Eaton in Toronto two years after Confederation, however, went bankrupt in 1999, its corporate assets being taken over by the Canadian subsidiary of Sears, which retired the Eaton’s name a few years later and went bankrupt itself four years ago. Meanwhile, at the same time the big-box stores of well-known large American retailers began popping up in cities all over Canada.
The illustration at the end of the preceding paragraph does not really do justice to the matter. It contrasts the fate of two, historic, Canadian large-scale retailers, one taken over by Americans, the other driven into bankruptcy, with American large-scale chains that have since thrived in Canada. A fuller picture would take into account how this has reproduced in Canada the same phenomenon that these same retail chains began producing in the United States in the post-World War II period when they began driving smaller-scale, family-owned, local shops out of business. The phenomenon is the economic homogenization of cities and local communities. Every city began to resemble every other city, and every local neighbourhood within a larger urban centre – this is especially true of the suburbs – began to resemble every other, in that all of the same branches of the same large chains of stores could be found in each. For powerful critiques of this phenomenon within America by Americans, see Kirkpatrick Sale’s Human Scale (1980), Bill Kauffman’s Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette: A Mostly Affectionate Account of a Small Town’s Fight to Survive (2003) and Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists (2006) and pretty much everything Wendell Berry has ever written.
Not every American chain, of course, was able to successfully penetrate the Canadian retail market. The most talked about failure was that of Target, which remains a very successful chain of big box department stores in the United States, but whose Canadian subsidiary went bankrupt in 2015 only two years after they had begun opening the stores they had gone to great expenditure to convert after acquiring former Zellers’ locations from the Hudson’s Bay Company. Apparently all those who liked to cross the border to shop at American Targets were not impressed with the Canadian counterparts.
What I wish to discuss for the remainder of this essay is something that could be described in a sense as being the opposite of the situation with Target, an organization that opened up in Canada about the time that its parent organization fell into disfavour in the United States but which has survived and even thrived through the support of the current Liberal government.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (sic) is an organization, based in Montgomery, Alabama, that amusingly describes itself as “non-profit”. Its reputation began to tank in its home country over the last decade or so due to a number of credible allegations made against it that led, ultimately, to the firing of its co-founder and public face Morris Dees in 2019, and the resignation of its president, Richard Cohen, soon thereafter. The year prior to that, however, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network was founded in Toronto. While not a subsidiary of the SPLC in the same way that the Target Canada was a subsidiary of the Target Corporation in the United States, the Canadian organization openly took the SPLC, which provided it with startup money and subsequent funding, as its model. As much as one might wish that it would go the way of Target Canada, there is little chance of that happening as long as the current Liberal government remains in power and ensuring that you and I, whether we agree with it, disagree with it, or utterly loathe it, are contributing to it with our taxes.
In this case the problem is much greater than that of an American company branching out, in a way, into the equivalent Canadian market. The problem is that the entire industry that company represents is one that Canada does not need, would be better off without, and which is rooted in American pathological hangups about race that the United States would be better off abandoning herself rather than exporting to the rest of the world.
The American race industry is, and always has been, in my opinion, a racket. Some history is in order here. Slavery was abolished in the United States by the Thirteenth Amendment, in 1865, the first of the three amendments to the American Constitution that the radical Republicans ran through the amendment process in the Reconstruction Period when they still had the South under martial law. Eighty-nine years later, in 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States of America made the second of the same group of amendments, the Fourteenth, the basis of its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka to strike down Jim Crow – the de jure racial segregation laws in the South. The American President at the time, Dwight Eisenhower, had made his opposition to segregation quite clear in his first State of the Union Address the year before Brown, and he was fully prepared to use military strength to enforce the Court’s ruling as his actions in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957 demonstrate. When, therefore, the American progressive newsmedia used their shiny new toy of television in 1955, one year after the American Supreme Court had dealt segregation its fatal blow, to shine a spotlight, on Martin Luther King Jr. in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the foe against which he was crusading was already defeated, a fact the same media did not similarly emphasize. King was a phony in every way conceivable – , , he presented himself as a practitioner of Thoreau and Gandhi-like non-violent civil disobedience while never condemning the rioting of his era and indeed implicitly supporting it, in his messages to his largest and most mixed audiences he preached the older liberal racial ideal of a colour-blind society although he himself was a Marxist rather than a classical liberal , and, having launched his famous crusade a year after the American Supreme Court had ruled de jure segregation to be unconstitutional, his moment of triumph, when Congress passed the US Civil Rights Act of 1964, was not about ending de jure segregation, which Congress could not make more unconstitutional than the Supreme Court had already declared it to be, but about instituting de jure integration. While de jure segregation, in which people of different races are kept apart by force of law, is almost universally regarded as unjust today, de jure integration, in which the force of law puts people of different races together whether they want to be or naturally would be or not, is much worse. If the older liberal idea of colour-blindness on the part of the state, itself a variation of the ancient notion that justice should wear a blindfold, is to be desired, de jure integration offends against it as much as de jure segregation, and if harmony and good relations between people of different races is the goal, de jure integration defeats this goal in a way de jure segregation never could, for artificially keeping people apart cannot not make them resent and hate each other in the way that artificially forcing them together does. One would think this to be so obvious that there is no need to point it out.
The immediate result of the passing of the US Civil Rights Act was the formation of the racial shakedown racket. The Civil Rights Act, you see, is civil law, the kind which defines certain actions as injurious so as to render the person or group that commits them liable to pay court-ordered damages to someone claiming injury. It defines certain forms of racial – and sexual – discrimination, primarily those in the areas of employment and housing, to be actionable. The assumption on which this law operates is that in the absence of discrimination employers will hire, promote, fire, etc. people of different races – and both sexes - in proportion to their presence in the surrounding community, an idiotic assumption if ever there was one, which makes the demonstration of disparity between the percentage of a race in a company and in the surrounding community into evidence of discrimination, placing a burden upon the employer to prove a negative – that he was not committing discrimination – about his thoughts and motives. Employers, recognizing the insurmountable difficulty of such a burden, generally prefer to settle than to go to court and defend themselves against such accusations, and organizations and individuals immediately sprung up to capitalize on this. Disgustingly, many of the better known of such individuals have been men of the cloth of the type so well satirized by Tom Wolfe in the character of the Reverend Bacon in his Bonfire of the Vanities.
Black preachers were not the only ones to latch on to this racket. White lawyers, including, or perhaps especially, the kind with no scruples against raking in most of the large discrimination settlements themselves with the crumbs going to their black clients, were quick to jump aboard the gravy train. One interesting early example was a man who was both a lawyer and a minister. Fred Phelps, who was already the founding preacher of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas when the Civil Rights Act passed, got his law degree that year and opened a side law practice, specializing in civil rights cases of precisely this sort. He attained a certain degree of fame for this. In the biggest of these cases he sued his city’s Board of Education – the same Board against which the Supreme Court’s famous segregation-killing ruling had been issued – for failing to follow through on the Court’s previous orders. The case was settled, and he pocketed about two thirds of the settlement. His unprofessional conduct as a lawyer would be his undoing, however, for it eventually led to his disbarment in 1979. About a decade after this he would attain notoriety for his crusade against homosexuality. Unlike most evangelical, fundamentalist, and traditionalist clergy, who would express the orthodox Christian moral theology on the matter in terms of God hating the sin but loving the sinner, Phelps loudly proclaimed his ultra-Calvinist view that God hates sinners, especially this particular kind. He even made this the url of his church’s website, expressing it with the vulgar epithet for homosexuals. More obnoxiously, and this is what attracted widespread attention, he organized demonstrations outside the funerals of homosexuals, AIDS victims, and, eventually a host of other sorts of people as well, with picket signs full of messages expressing his kakangelion (6) such as “God hates you” and “You’re going to hell”. Although his message and behaviour were very a-typical of evangelicals, fundamentalists, and traditionalists, progressives took great delight in tarring orthodox Christians with his brush, by a fallacy of association that would have just as logically condemned them in that Phelps was a lifelong left-liberal, Democrat.
There are several parallels in the lives of Fred Phelps and Morris S. Dees Jr., as well as some obvious differences, the biggest of which being that until the eve of his downfall, Dees enjoyed much greater success and much more favourable press coverage than Phelps. Despite Dees’ Jewish middle name, both men were Baptists. Both men had another career as well as their law practice. In Dees’ case he was a partner with Millard Fuller, the co-founder of Habitat for Humanity, in a successful direct marketing firm. Unlike Phelps, Dees started out on the other side of the civil rights movement. A supporter of George Wallace in his youth, Dees acted as defense lawyer for a Klansman on an assault charge in 1962, winning the man an acquittal. By his own account, this sparked an “epiphany” which led him to take up the civil rights cause. A cynic, or someone well acquainted with his later career, might conclude that he realized all the money was to be made on the other side. After all, it is a strange sort of awakening that leads one to take up a career of civil rights crusading, in which one is consistently launching lawsuits against people who cannot afford a good defense, out of regret for having defended someone, when a fairly basic civil rights principle, in the United States as well as in the Commonwealth, is that everyone accused of a crime is entitled to a defense. Dees took the money he made selling his direct marketing firm – he had earlier bought out Fuller – and in 1971 co-founded a civil rights law firm with another lawyer Joseph J. Levin Jr. and a civil rights activist Julian Bond. This was the Southern Poverty Law Center (sic).
The key to understanding Dees and the SPLC is to recognize that in the latter Dees had found a way to combine his legal career and his direct marketing business into one.
While at first the SPLC handled a variety of cases, a little under a decade into its existence it began specializing in headline-grabbing, sensational lawsuits against Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups. These suits followed a basic formula. Someone associated with one of these organizations would commit some violent crime or another. Then, after this person had been charged and convicted for the crime, they would file a civil lawsuit against the organization and/or its leader on behalf of the victim. They would ask for an extremely large amount of damages. Here their strategy departed from that of Phelps. They did not seek to pocket most of the recovered damages themselves and would even take the cases pro bono. That does not mean that their clients received all that the courts awarded them – far from it. The amounts asked for by the SPLC were far in excess of what the organizations or individuals could afford to pay and therefore, the full amount of the headline catching awards was irrecoverable. This, and not recovering the amounts, was the point of all this. The organizations and individuals, when they could not pay, would be driven into bankruptcy. Then the SPLC would crow about how it had dealt a crushing blow to the KKK (or whatever organization it happened to be), to everyone on its mailing list. That is where it made its real money. It used its mailing list, originally built up from the donors lists of the left-wing politicians such as George McGovern whose campaigns Dees had worked for in a direct-mailing capacity, to spread the idea that the United States was in imminent peril from groups like the KKK and that its services were necessary to avert this danger. It would then receive in donations far more than its clients would in the recoverable fractions of the amounts it demanded in court. It was both a law firm and a direct marketing firm, as the latter, selling not the doormats, hairstyling products, cookbooks, and the like that Dees had sold with Fuller, but itself as the solution to organized racism.
To understand why this deserves categorization with snake oil peddling and the sort of televangelism that gives legitimate Christian broadcasting a bad name there are three things that need to be taken into consideration.
The first is that the SPLC started doing this as America was entering the 1980s, by which time the KKK they were facing in court was hardly the formidable “Invisible Empire” that waged guerilla warfare against Reconstruction in the nineteenth century, the fraternal lodge dedicated to American WASP nativism that attained the height of its influence in the interwar period of the first half of the twentieth century, or even the organization that waged a doomed-before-it-even-began terrorist war against desegregation in the 1950s and 1960s, but rather a number of much smaller, totally impotent, competing chapters whose membership probably contained more FBI infiltrators than true believers. Rather than a brave David fighting a formidable Goliath, the SPLC was more like the Brave Little Tailor in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale whose reputation for valour and strength was built by trickery upon a foundation of having swatted a few flies.
The second is that the SPLC became stinking rich this way. Left-liberal journalist Ken Silverstein, the founder of the newsletter turned e-zine – Counterpunch and currently the founder and editor-in-chief of Washington Babylon, in that appeared in the November 2000 Harper’s wrote that it was “already the wealthiest civil rights group in America”. At the time the SPLC was worth about $120 million, which, as Silverstein observed, exceeded the amounts that Dees had previously set as the goals upon which the organization would cease its aggressive fund-raising campaign. By the time Silverstein’s successor at Counterpunch, the late Alexander Cockburn, wrote a that appeared in The Nation nine years later, that amount had grown by almost half and there was still no sign of them letting up on their fundraising. Shortly before the organization dumped Dees it was revealed that their assets – much of which were kept in offshore accounts in noted tax havens – had grown to about half a billion dollars. This is far in excess of what is recommended that non-profits keep in reserve to cover operating costs against a bad year or two. I leave it to you to judge whether it is in excess of what a legitimate non-profit accumulate over the course of fifty years.
The third thing is that as America moved on from the Civil Rights Era, and groups like the KKK grew even smaller to the point that even New York Times and Washington Post readers began to notice that these were no longer a serious concern, the SPLC began to expand its notion of who and what constitutes a “hate group” or an “extremist”. (7) From the 1990s on, any group that engaged in any sort of activism on behalf of white people qua white people, no matter how much it went out of its way to not speak or act negatively towards other groups, could expect to be profiled by the SPLC and lumped together with the KKK and neo-Nazi groups. About a decade later they began increasingly to include groups and individuals who took conservative or right-of-centre positions on abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration and refugee policies, and a host of other issues in their reports on “extremists” and “hate groups”. All of this was grossly defamatory and displayed that the organization’s claim to be “non-political” was as nonsensical as its claim to be “non-profit”, but it has been evident for a long time to those watching this self-appointed “watchdog” that it does not feel bound by any standards of truth and accuracy when it comes to reporting about people it opposes. The point however is that is exactly the behaviour we would expect from an organization that had hit upon the scheme of exploiting fear of the KKK in order to enrich itself off of the gullibility of donors after fear of the KKK had reached its sell-by date. Instead of turning its attention to groups just as hateful and violent as the KKK, but which either are racially non-white or advocate for radical left-wing causes with which the SPLC’s donors might be more sympathetic than not and, perhaps more importantly, would be far more difficult to beat in court, it sought to redirect the fear it had been exploiting towards a more general “hate” and to smear its donors’ political opponents as being among the “haters”.
The SPLC’s chickens came home to roost in March of 2019 when scandal after scandal – the half-billion dollar endowment of an organization classified as “non-profit”, credible accusations by former employees that the SPLC practices the very sort of racial and sexual discrimination with regards to its own staff that it profits off of decrying in others, and allegations of personal misconduct against Dees – led to the firing of Dees, the resignation of Cohen – other heads would roll later that year – and the organization’s hiring of an outside firm to assess its “internal climate and workplace practices”.
It was right around this moment of ultimate disgrace for the SPLC that the Canadian Anti-Hate Network was started up.
Here is how the organization described itself in:
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAN) is a nonpartisan nonprofit which monitors hate groups and provided up to date information to media, researchers, law enforcement and community organizations. The organization is modeled after, and supported by, the esteemed Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in the United States.
What a bad time to admit to being modeled after the SPLC. Note the irony of this admission coming one sentence after they describe themselves as “a nonpartisan nonprofit”. The SPLC continues to be classified as such by the American tax agency but everything we have seen about it is, I think, sufficient grounds to regard such classification as an utter absurdity. Whatever might be the proper classification for it, it is not something of which Canada needs its own version, whether it be a branch plant opened up by the American organization or a domestic firm seeking to do the same thing here that the SPLC does south of the border.
The Chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network is none other than Bernie Farber. Farber has been the go-to “expert” on hate for the Canadian media for decades now. In the 1990s and 2000s he was an official of the Canadian Jewish Congress, becoming that organization’s last CEO in 2005 (it was discontinued in 2011 after it was folded up into the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs). In this capacity, with the help of the mainstream media, he built up a reputation as a Nazi-hunter that is, in my opinion, utterly worthless. His Nazi-hunting consisted of lobbying the government to prosecute “Nazi war criminals” by which, for the most part, he meant elderly Canadians of Eastern European, mostly Ukrainian, ethnicity who had been forced into service, mostly in the capacity of translators, by the Nazis when they overran Eastern Europe in Operation Barbarossa, and supporting the use of hate speech laws, in some cases against a handful of actual neo-Nazis who had no significant following worth worrying about, in other cases against conservatives, libertarians, populists, etc. who said or wrote things that in his opinion had no place in a “free and democratic society”. If there is ever a rise in significant, anti-Semitic violence in Canada, it is far less likely to come from the sort of people Farber was going after, than from groups that have imported their hatred of Jews from other countries, but you could hear the crickets chip waiting for him to address the latter as posing a danger to the Jews and if you raised the matter yourself would probably be the one he condemned as some sort of bigot. Needless to say, this “expert” on hate has as little interest in anti-white hatred, anti-Christian hatred, anti-male hatred, or any of the other hatreds that run in the opposite direction of those he opposes but which are far more virulent as the SPLC has.
Richard Warman is a board member of the CAN. A lawyer and activist who worked for the Canadian Human Rights Commission from 2002 to 2004, he is probably best known as the man who starting in his first year with the CHRC filed a string of complaints under Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which were most if not all of the complaints filed under this Section between then and the time Parliament repealed the law.
The Canadian Human Rights Act is rather poorly named. It does absolutely nothing to protect the basic rights of all people as individuals against the abuse of the powers of the state, which is what the concept of “human rights” suggests to most people, but allows people to file accusations of discrimination against others, which the CHRC then investigates at the public expense, while the accused have neither the right to a legal defense paid for by the public that defendants have under criminal law, nor their expenses paid by the complainant if they win as would be the case under normal civil law. Furthermore, the accuser does not have to meet the same burden of proof that the Crown must under criminal law and the Tribunal that adjudicates the cases is empowered to impose crippling penalties. It seems extremely perverse to call a system this stacked against the accused “human rights law”.
It is worth observing here that the Canadian Human Rights Act is itself another example of the phenomenon that I have been decrying in the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, the unnecessary and unwelcome importation into Canada of America’s progressive racial obsessions. Like the British Race Relations Acts of 1965, 1968 and 1976, the Canadian Human Rights Act of 1977 was modeled after the US Civil Rights Act of 1964. That both the United Kingdom and Canada adopted this absurd Americanism can be largely attributed largely to the United States’ having superseded the United Kingdom as the leading power in Western Civilization as well as the mass communications technology that around the same time began filling our living rooms with daily accounts of America’s racial struggles as seen through the interpretive lenses of the progressives who did most of the reporting.
Section 13 was the worst part of the CHRA. It defined as an act of discrimination to communicate anything “likely to” expose someone protected against discrimination “to hatred or contempt” through the telephone or, after subsection b) was added in 2001, the internet. It was worded so loosely that virtually anything negative said against a member of a protected group might be actionable under it. It was introduced because the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau had received complaints that the hate propaganda sections they had added to the Criminal Code were too difficult to obtain convictions under because the Crown bore the burden of proof and the accused had the right to a defense. It did not seem to occur to either those making these complaints or to the Liberal government that listened to them that legislating for the purpose of making it easier to “get” someone is bad legislation that runs contrary to the basic principles of our system of law and justice. Of course it had not occurred to these same people that introducing a special law to criminalize “hate propaganda” is also bad legislation since calls for violence against people on the grounds of their race, religion, etc. were already covered under laws against incitement to crime.
Warman won complaint after complaint under Section 13 – this is itself testimony to this law’s having been unjustly stacked against the accused – until his complaint against a webmaster named Marc Lemire. Lemire launched a vigorous defense and, indeed, a constitutional challenge to Section 13 itself. The timing was propitious for Lemire. Whereas Warman’s previous Section 13 complaints had largely gone under the media radar, this one happened to coincide in time with similar complaints having been filed against Ezra Levant, then the publisher of the Western Standard magazine and against Maclean’s magazine and Mark Steyn. Levant and Steyn shone the public spotlight upon the details less-than-favourable to Warman, the CHRC, and Section 13 itself that were coming out in Warman v Lemire. Steyn and Levant’s is very enlightening in this regards. Among those revelations was the fact that Warman and investigators for the CHRC such as Dean Steacy, had joined neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups online under pseudonyms and posted there in the course of their investigations. This led to popular disgust with these actions – not so much because, as Steyn, Levant, and a host of other conservative commentators argued, they added to the amount of “hate speech” online at the taxpayers’ expense but because they smacked of the sleazy old dishonest law enforcement practice called entrapment– and sparked the movement within Parliament that led to Section 13’s repeal.
Farber and Warman were two of the four signatories to the letter introducing the group to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. The other two were Evan Balgord, identified as the group’s Executive Director and Amira Elghawaby who is listed as a Board Member. I had not heard of Balgord prior to the formation of this group but since then he has been quoted in the media at least as often as Farber himself. This suggests to me that he is Farber’s hand-picked successor for his role as top “hate” expert for the Canadian media. Elghawaby, who prior to the formation of the CAN had worked for the National Council of Canadian Muslims and who currently is employed by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation is a columnist for the far left Toronto Star and the only one of the four signatories who is not a white male.
Early the following year the CAN announced that it was welcoming Kurt Phillips to its board. Kurt Phillips, a school teacher from Alberta and, incidentally, another white male, had been exposed somewhere around that same time as the man behind the Anti-Racist Canada blog. That was the blog where, hiding behind vampirish pseudonyms like Nosferatu200 and an avatar featuring the Guy Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta, he would dox people whose views he disagreed with, post screenshots captured from their social media accounts – private as well as public – defame them, and otherwise behave in an cyberbullying manner that would have brought about any right-leaning schoolteacher’s immediate dismissal.
In the four years or so that it has been around, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network has behaved pretty much exactly as we would expect an organization that took the SPLC as its model, proudly announced that fact even after the SPLC’s fall into utter disgrace, and which fills its staff and board with the sort of classy – that’s sarcasm if you didn’t catch it - individuals we have just looked at, to behave.
When, last year, this country experienced the biggest string of hate crimes in its history as around 70 Christian churches were vandalized or set on fire, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network was silent. A search of their website for the names of the targeted churches and for the word “Christophobia” turns up no results. A search for “church burnings” produces a single result that is not related to the rash of church attacks. It is not surprising that this organization is not interested in talking about these very real hate crimes in that it was promoting the most incendiary form of the narrative that the perpetrators of these crimes took as their pretext. (8)
Slightly more surprising is their similar silence about the huge scandal involving the revelation of a prominent, white, male, politician’s past racist – by their standards – behaviour that broke out a few months after they announced themselves to Parliament in the 2019 Dominion Election. A search of their site for “Justin Trudeau” cross-referenced with “blackface” produces no results. Separate “blackface” into two words and you get a single result, about Maxime Bernier’s arrest in Manitoba in June of last year. This result turns up because in the context of accusing Bernier of making a “dog-whistle statement” – in their terminology this refers to a statement that they claim contains a secret meaning, other than the surface meaning, intended only for white supremacists (it is interesting and perhaps a little telling that anti-racist groups like this one are the only ones who ever seem to hear the “dog whistle”) – for making the entirely true remark that “While racism towards non-whites is rightly universally condemned anti-white racism is rapidly becoming fashionable and even taught in our schools and universities”, they mention that Bernier accused both the Prime Minister and the NDP leader of race-baiting and that the statement in question was accompanied by the pictures of the Prime Minister wearing “Black face”. (9) As I said, this is only slightly more surprising. The present Liberal government more-than-generously subsidizes the Canadian Anti-Hate Network with money taken from the taxpayers, including those of us who object to the organization’s activities. A search of their site for “Justin Trudeau” without the cross-reference brings up mostly results attacking the Prime Minister’s opponents and enemies.
So, if this group that identifies itself as “Anti-Hate” has no interest in combatting Christophobic violent attacks on churches and is indeed arguably on the side of the perpetrators, and does not think the history of wearing blackface – again, something that is racist by their standards rather than mine – on the part of the white, male, Prime Minister is something worth discussing, what are they concerned about?
Judging from the people and topics they do choose to talk about, what they are really obsessed with is their fear that dissent from the internationalist-globalist-progressive-green consensus will become popular and that such dissent will be given an organized voice either in the Conservative Party or in a new party. It little matters whether that dissent be in the form of the demands for less taxes and less laws traditionally associated with the word “libertarian”, in the form of the demand that those in power actually listen to and respect the wishes of those they govern in which case the word would be “populist”, demands that governments put the interests of their own countries and the people in them ahead of “global” or “international” concerns on issues ranging from immigration and trade to foreign policy and the environment which is what the term “nationalist” currently seems to refer to although historically it meant something else, or demands that those in power do something to reverse or at least quit promoting the moral decay and unravelling of the social fabric that have been so obvious for at least half a century now. All of this is “far right” to the CAN, and “far right” to the CAN means “Nazi”. Never mind that “Nazi” is a contraction of “National Socialist”, a blend of nationalism in the word’s earlier sense – Rosseau’s notion of the democratic sovereignty of the people (in the sense of nation) – and socialism, both of which were left-wing, and the historic Nazis saw themselves as revolutionaries rather than reactionaries. (10) Never mind that “libertarian” which is the furthest position to the right in the American concept of a left-right spectrum that you can get short of the anarchism that calls for the abolition of the state altogether is the pretty much the opposite of the system of total state control that Nazism shared with Communism. (11) The CAN are the “experts” and they will decide who is a Nazi. Hmmm. Didn’t Hermann Göring say “I will decide who is a Jew”? (12)
Organizations of this nature are a prime example of what is wrong with the contemporary cult of the credentialed expert. They lobby for laws against “online hate” on the grounds that Canadians need protection from the harms posed by exposure to such hate. The effect of such laws, obviously, would be to deny or limit access to ordinary Canadians to the words of groups and individuals that these “experts” consider to be hateful. This would make it difficult or impossible for ordinary Canadians to decide for themselves whether the groups and individuals labeled “hateful” by the hate “experts” actually are what said experts say they are. The “experts” don’t mind this. They seem to think that the role of the rest of us, rather than asking questions, conducing our own research, and engaging in independent thought, it is our duty to believe whatever the “experts” tell us. That questioning the “experts” rather than blindly trusting them is the path to wisdom, however, is an insight as old as Socrates. Furthermore, when the “experts” are self-appointed “watchdogs” as in this case, Juvenal’s old question of quis custodiet ipsos custodes comes into play. Indeed, groups that have appointed themselves the watchdogs of public mental hygiene on matters of race, prejudice, hate and bigotry have a long history of behaviour that demands this very watching of the watchers themselves.
Just before Dominion Day, this year, it was announced that the Canadian Anti-Hate Network had made use of a grant of over a quarter of a million of the taxpayers’ dollars to produce a pamphlet entitled Confronting and Preventing Hate in Canadian Schools which Diversity Minister – a portfolio that ought never to have been created and should be immediately abolished as it is hostile to the most important and essential diversity of all, diversity of thought – Ahmed Hussen said would “teach core values to our kids”. Unfortunately he is probably right about that. The language of values, as George Grant frequently said, is the language of modernity, an anthropocentric replacement for the older, superior, traditional language of the Good (and True and Beautiful), in which expressions of the human will replace the transcendent order. This particular piece of propaganda about to be inflicted upon those children unfortunate enough not to have parents wise enough to have pulled their kids out of the public school system, already rotten to the core when Hilda Neatby wrote decrying the decay decades ago, and either put them in parochial or private schools or taken up homeschooling, encourages children to police each other’s thoughts and speech, warns them that arguments for free speech might be covers for defending hate propaganda, tells them that racists infiltrate the Conservative Party to try and use it to advance their agenda, and includes the Canadian Red Ensign in a chapter on “hate symbols” saying the following:
Canadian Red Ensign – the flag of Canada until 1965. Its usage denotes a desire to return to Canada’s demographics before 1967, when it was predominately white. Not to be confused with provincial flags, especially Ontario’s, which look very similar, except for the crest.
The Canadian Red Ensign is often used by the younger alt-right/Canada First movement, but has been seen among older hate-promoting groups and individuals. Its usage in modern times is an indicator of hate-promoting beliefs.
With the exception of the first sentence this is drivel. The Canadian Red Ensign – the flag displayed at the top of my website – was indeed, Canada’s flag until 1965. It was so in an unofficial sort of way prior to 1945 when, five days after the end of World War II, it was declared officially to be our flag by Order-in-Counsel. It was decided that it had earned that status through a baptism in blood. This was the flag that our soldiers fought under when fighting against the real Nazis. It is absolutely disgusting that our tax dollars are being wasted on vile propaganda telling the descendants of those soldiers that the flag their ancestors fought the Nazis under is a symbol of racist hate like that of the Nazis.
The claim that contemporary usage of the Red Ensign denotes “a desire to return to Canada’s demographics before 1967, when it was predominately white” is loaded and misleading. The change of the flag in 1965 was the first in a long series of changes that were made in the premierships of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau. These were changes that moved us away from our Loyalist heritage in the direction of an American-style nationalism. Note that it was our strong Loyalist tradition that led this country to join the United Kingdom and the rest of the Commonwealth in going to war against Nazi Germany. Note as well that had a campaign to vilify Loyalist Canada and her heritage, history, tradition had the influence in the early half of the twentieth century that it does today, Canadians would not have been so willing to do their duty in joining the war against Hitler. Any organization that sides with this campaign and promotes its agenda is, whether it realizes it or not, acting towards making sure that Canada will never again make the same choice when faced with the call of duty as in 1939. Which is a rather strange way for an organization of self-declared Nazi hunters to behave, in my opinion. Some of the 1965-1982 Liberal changes, like the change in the flag in 1965 and of the name of the national holiday in 1982, pertained to our country’s symbols. Others, such as the introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, altered our constitution and laws. The Charter’s most radical innovation was to enhance the power of our courts, especially the Supreme Court of Canada, essentially Americanizing it into a US-style activist court. While the it weakened it both by the change just mentioned and by giving the false impression to many that contrary to what it itself says in Section 26 our rights and freedoms are limited to those specifically named as such within it. Indeed, long before the Charter was introduced in 1982 it was noticeable that the bent of the changes that Pearson and especially Trudeau were bringing in was away from the emphasis on personal freedom in Canada’s older, Loyalist, tradition. Remember that in the debates on Confederation Sir Richard Cartwright famously distinguished between the leading principles of the older tradition and the American one in these words: “For myself, sir, I own frankly that I prefer British liberty to American equality”. That the Trudeau Liberals in both their radical egalitarianism and their attacks on Canada’s Loyalist heritage were endangering personal freedom was the theme of the speeches and essays by the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker collected and published as his Those Things We Treasure (1972).
There are, therefore, plenty of reasons for Canadians to prefer the way our country was before 1963 that have nothing to do with demographics and therefore plenty of reasons to symbolically reject the Liberal Party’s reshaping of the country in its own image, after it itself had just been reshaped into the image of its own hard left wing, by continuing to use the old Red Ensign and to celebrate 1 July as Dominion Day.
Furthermore, even with regards to the matter of demographics itself, the authors of the CAN have left their own position and the assumptions underlying it open to question and attack.
Consider, for example, their choice of the year 1967. The flag change took place in 1965. Yet, when they accuse those of us who hold to the old flag of wanting to return to an older demographics it is “before 1967” not “before 1965”. What is the significance of the year 1967?
If we took their risible wording at face value it would be that Canada ceased to be “predominately white” in 1967. That, however, did not happen that year. Canada was “predominately white” in 1966. Canada was also “predominately white” in 1976, and for that matter in 1986 and 1996. Canada is still majority white today, despite the efforts of the news and entertainment media to convince us otherwise, and likely more so than the official statistics indicate due to the fact that those like the CAN who ironically call themselves “anti-racists” have attached such negativity to “white” as an identifier that many, especially of the younger generations, who in reality are mostly white, take the identity of the one of their sixteen great-great-grandparents who was not to avoid the stigma. The point is that there was no major demographics upheaval that occurred in 1967.
Did anything happen in 1967 that led to the transformation of Canada’s demographics over the following decades?
Here it becomes a bit trickier. In 1967, the Pearson Liberal government put into practice the recommendations of their White Paper on immigration of the preceding year. The most memorable of these was the adaptation of the now familiar points system whereby individuals applying to immigrate to Canada are awarded points for such things as the ability to speak either English or French, the level of education achieved, possessing a skill or a trade of which we are in need, etc. It is on paper a remarkably fair system and progressives like to attribute the demographics transformation that has occurred in Canada since to the adoption of this system. This attribution allows them to claim that the demographics changes are the result of natural migration patterns that the old Canada impeded with racial restrictions that the Liberals got rid of with their points system.
That is all a pile of codswallop however.
First, it was not the introduction of the points system by the Liberals in 1967 that eliminated racial restrictions, at least with regards to the class of immigrants – independent, non-sponsored, applicants – affected by it. That was accomplished in 1962 in the immigration regulations introduced by Ellen Fairclough, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in the Cabin of John Diefenbaker. That would be the same John Diefenbaker whose decrying of the Trudeau Liberals’ undermining our constitution and traditional freedoms was mentioned earlier. He was also the same John Diefenbaker who as leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition led the fight against the changing of the flag in 1965.
Second, the demographics transformation was not the result merely of natural migration being allowed to occur by the adoption of a racially neutral, non-discriminatory immigration policy, either Diefenbaker’s in 1962 or Pearson’s in 1967. Tom Kent, an advisor to the Liberal governments of Pearson and Trudeau, openly admitted that these governments had followed his advice to encourage demographically transformative immigration for the purposes of helping the Liberals win elections and breaking up “Tory Toronto”. A policy that encourages demographically transformative immigration is not racially neutral and non-discriminatory. The points system is racially neutral and non-discriminatory, as immigration law had been since 1962. The policy of the Pearson-Trudeau Liberals was not, and that policy was carried out by side-stepping the points system and maximizing immigration other than the independent, non-sponsored, variety. Note that when Diefenbaker introduced racially neutral immigration in 1962 and Pearson introduced the points system in 1967, both of these things were done openly, by published Order-in-Council. The Pearson-Trudeau policy of demographically transformative immigration was done cloak-and-dagger style, mostly through clandestine instructions to visa and other immigration officials.
If actual race neutrality, in policy as well as the letter of the law, or what is sometimes called colour blindness, is taken to be the ideal, then immigration policies aimed at affecting radical demographic transformation sin against that ideal as much as immigration laws like those prior to 1962 which aimed at preserving the demographic status quo. The difference is that immigration laws aimed at preserving the demographic status quo are entirely defensible on the grounds that upsetting the demographic status quo by deliberately introducing a large amount of extra diversity in a short time has all sorts of negative effects – increasing ethnic and racial tensions, eroding social capital and communal cohesion, etc. – that such laws protect against. The government that passes them, even if judged to fall short of the colour blindness ideal, does so in the interests of its own country’s good. The government that deliberately sets out to overthrow the demographic status quo falls just as short of the same ideal, but with no such defense available and in the interests of its own party or faction rather than of the country. Having done precisely this, the Trudeau Liberals defended their actions against the criticism to which they are so vulnerable, by accusing anyone who said a critical word of racism, irrational prejudice, and bigotry.
The Trudeau Liberal policy of deliberately maximizing diversity – in everything except political thought – as fast as possible and to as great a degree as possible, is the least intellectually and morally defensible policy available, yet it remains firmly in place, regardless of who happens to be in power in Parliament at any given time, due to the attacks on anybody who questions it, at first by the Trudeau Liberals, now by American-style anti-hate watchdog groups like the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network would like us to believe that there are only two options – either you blindly accept the basic tenet of the cult of diversity that because diversity is good therefore more diversity is better and the most diversity is the best and support the Liberal practice of making Canada as diverse as possible as fast as possible or you want radical action taken to reverse all post-1960s demographic changes and restore the demographic status quo ante of the 1960s. The absurdity of this bifurcation makes their remarks about contemporary usage of the Red Ensign that much more foolish. Not only do they fail to acknowledge the many other reasons that have nothing to do with demographics at all for thinking the old Loyalist Canada of Confederation to have been superior to what the Liberal “revolution within the form” of Pearson-Trudeau era gave us, they fail to acknowledge that we mighty reject their diversity cult without wanting to deport a few million people and/or import an even larger number of white people to make percentages match what they were before Pierre Trudeau took office. I doubt very much that more than a fraction of a percentage of those who reject the diversity cult would want such radical measures taken. Not when there are more rational alternatives available such as making our country’s immigration policy as genuinely colour blind in practice as it is on paper, or restoring the pre-Diefenbaker idea of an immigration policy that deters radical demographic change with the understanding that radical change in either direction – back to the 1960s or towards maximum diversity – is to be so deterred, or even just an immigration policy of allowing how many and what kind of immigrants Canada lets in be determined by her national needs at any given time and in no way influenced by racial dogmas of any type.
By attacking the Red Ensign in this way, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network further testifies to what is already abundantly evident in their silence about the wave of Christophobic church burnings last year, their attempts to portray the smattering of tiny, white racial nationalist groups, whose violence more often than not goes no further than their rhetoric, as posing a serious threat while ignoring the much greater violence perpetrated by far-left antifa groups that shut down meetings, speeches, and events they disapprove of through brute thuggish intimidation, and their efforts to depict every large scale populist protest against the actions and policies of the current Trudeau government as being motivated by “white supremacism” even though the actions and polices being protested are not racial in nature and in some cases hurt racial minorities more than whites, namely that they are not interested in combatting hate qua hate so much as in seeing to it that hate is only direct towards whites, males, the cisgendered, heterosexuals, Christians, more especially those who belong to all of the aforementioned categories, and against the old, Loyalist, Canada of Confederation.
Keeping that in mind, let us review a few facts about that old Loyalist Canada. As mentioned a number of times previously in this essay it was Loyalist Canada, not the multicultural Canada of the Trudeaus, that went to war with Hitler in September of 1939. It was her Loyalism – sneeringly dismissed by the CAN and their fellow-travellers as our country’s colonial baggage – that motivated her into going to war with the real Nazis. It was Loyalist Canada, during the premiership of her last true defender to hold the office of Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker, and not Trudeau’s multicultural Canada, that removed race, nation, and ethnicity as hindrances to immigration to Canada in 1962. Furthermore, in 1960, Diefenbaker led Loyalist Canada into doing what her first and founding Prime Minister, much maligned by those who think like the CAN, Sir John A. Macdonald began in 1885, (13) and extended the full voting franchise to the Treaty Indians. (14) None of this was because Diefenbaker was ideologically more in line with the Pearson-Trudeau Liberals who followed after him than with the Fathers of Confederation. Quite the opposite, Diefenbaker’s strong stance on equal civil rights and liberties for all Canadians arose out of his vision of “One Canada”, a vision so important to him that he made it the title of his three-volume memoir, a vision of a united country that could not be turned against itself by those seeking to exploit racial, linguistic, class, and other divisions, that was derived from the “One Nation” ideas of Victorian British Tory Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, illustrated by the latter in his novel Sybil, which also, as George Grant liked to point out, had inspired and influenced Disraeli’s contemporaries, Sir John A. Macdonald and the other Fathers of Confederation. Remember what that other champion of the old Loyalist Canada, Manitoban historian W. L. Morton wrote in his The Canadian Identity (1961, 1972):
[T]he moral core of Canadian nationhood is found in the fact that Canada is a monarchy and in the nature of monarchial allegiance. As America is united at bottom by the covenant, Canada is united at the top by allegiance. Because Canada is a nation founded on allegiance and not on compact, there is no pressure for uniformity, there is no Canadian way of life. Any one, French, Irish, Ukrainian or Eskimo, can be a subject of the Queen and a citizen of Canada without in any way changing or ceasing to be himself.
Anyone really interested in combatting racial animosity– all racial animosity, including that directed towards whites and not just that which flows in the other direction - and division in Canada ought to look to the founding principles of the Loyalist Canada of Confederation, rather than to the dogmas of the diversity cult of the Trudeau Liberals and other leftists who sneer at that Canada. Their doctrines can only generate division which they exploit in their pursuit of power.
The last thing Canada needs is for them to be aided and abetted by a Canadian branch of the fear-of-hate peddling industry that has been so profitable for Morris Dees et al. in the United States. Canada does not need a group of self-appointed Hatefinders General. No country does.
(1)For an excellent book that focuses on this aspect of Canadian history see David Orchard’s The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism, (1993, rev. 1998) about which Stompin’ Tom Connors said that it “should not only be required reading for every Canadian, but it should also be held in the hand of every elected Member of Parliament (including the Prime Minister) while taking the oath of office and swearing to uphold the Canadian constitution.
(2) Classical “free trade” would just involve countries dropping their protective barriers and not require treaties the size of a telephone book and the establishment of adjudicating bodies to hear disputes about violations of the negotiated trade agreements.
(3) A curious treatise to come from the pen of the writer whose first book was Controlling Interest – Who Owns Canada? (1986) warning about “the alarming extent of corporate concentration and interlocking directorships in Canadian business”. Does she expect a Canada-US merger would make this less of a problem?
(4) Colonel Sibthorp, the ultra-Tory Victorian Parliamentarian who loudly objected to every single innovation of his lifetime, mocked the railway, calling it a “degrading form of transportation” thought up by “public frauds and private robbers” and insisting that it was a fancy that was doomed to pass when the “nefarious schemes” of said frauds and robbers were exposed to the public and “the old and happy mode of travelling the turnpike roads in chaises, carriages and stages, would be restored”. As a great admirer of Sibthorp, it amuses me to think that this predication may very well come true in my lifetime, although it is irritating that the braindead idiots who think that carbon dioxide – plant food – is a pollutant and that environment needs to be saved from family farms and rural communities by universal urbanization will end up being responsible for it.
(5) See Patrick J. Buchanan’s The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy (1998).
(6) Kakangelion or “bad news” is the opposite of eugangelion or “good news” from which our word “evangelism” comes.
(7) The SPLC made much capital out of the various different meanings of the word “extreme”. Whereas categorizing a group as “extremist” suggests to many people the idea that it is willing to take “extreme” measures – unlawful and violent – to achieve its ends, the SPLC would categorize groups or individuals as “extremist” on the basis of their holding views that were to the right of what was currently considered to be the centre, even if those same views had been mainstream and held by the majority until very recently.
(8) That is the Indian Residential Schools narrative. The Indian Residential Schools were boarding schools, originally founded as missionary outreaches by the mainline Christian churches for the purposes of providing Indian children with the basic sort of education that they would need if they wished to work and interact with other Canadians in the modern economy as the hunting, fishing, trapping lifestyle became less sustainable. The Indian chiefs, recognizing the need for just such an education for their children, made it a stipulation in each of the numbered treaties signed after the formation of the Dominion of Canada, that the government provide such an education. Since the churches were already doing this, the government decided that the best and least expensive way of meeting their treaty obligations was to fund and expand the church-sponsored program. The schools operated for about a century and a half if you count from the day the first one opened to the day the last one closed. Late in the twentieth century, around the time the last one was shut down but decades after most of them had closed their doors, former students launched lawsuits against the churches and the federal government on the basis of abuse they had experienced there. Keep in mind that every school, public or private, boarding or day, religious or secular, regardless of the racial makeup of the student body, has students who regard the experience as horrible and gaol-like. That does not mean, of course, that students never experience actual abuse. It is also, sadly, true that abuse, whether sexual or physical (excessive corporal punishment), occurs in all types of schools. Boarding schools in general have long had the reputation of having more abuse go on there than other schools. With these caveats in mind, it does seem from the testimony of the former students that conditions were worse in the Indian Residential Schools than even other boarding schools. Leftists, however, even as the initial lawsuits were underway, began spinning the story into an absurd narrative. It comes in two basic forms. There is the narrative associated with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that accuses the Canadian government and the churches of colluding to commit “cultural genocide”. “Cultural genocide” is a concept that ought to be recognized as intrinsically dishonest by every thinking person. “Genocide” itself is a problematic term – it was coined in the 1940s for the explicit purpose of making one group of mass murderers (Nazis) seem worse than another (Communists) even though the latter had killed more people, in order to justify establishing an ex post facto tribunal (unjustifiable by the standards of what has traditionally been regarded as justice in the English speaking world) in which the former would be tried by those who had defeated them in war, including the latter. When you add “cultural” it becomes far worse because “cultural genocide” equates the imposing of one people’s culture upon another with literally killing that people, a morally repugnant equation. The TRC narrative of “cultural genocide” maintains that the government and churches were deliberately trying to eliminate Indian cultures and languages. The arguments upon which it is based, however, are dishonest. Consider one example. Many of the residential schools – not all – employed the immersion method of teaching English or French. Now as then, the immersion method is recognized as the most effective way of learning a second language. The TRC maintains that it was used to eliminate Indian languages – Blackfoot, Cree, etc. Imparting a second language, however, does not cause you to lose your first. English parents would not be so keen on sending their kids to French-immersion schools to gain the benefits that come with fluent bilingualism if that were the case. It was in the interests of the Canadian government and the churches that the Indian children learn English and/or French. They had no reason to want the children to forget their first tongues. Furthermore, if their intention had been what the TRC maintains it was, they would have required all Indian children to attend the schools. Less than a third – closer to a fifth – of Indian school age children who lived while these schools were around attended them. The TRC’s accusations are neither rational nor made in good faith. The other version of the narrative is that which defrocked United Church minister Kevin Annett has been spreading since the 1990s. He claims – among many other wacky things which have been investigated with no evidence being found – that thousands of Indian children were murdered in the schools and buried in mass graves, as part of a huge genocidal conspiracy involving everyone from the pope to his (Annett’s not the pope’s) ex-wife. When the Kamloops Indian Band announced last May that 215 graves had been discovered on the grounds of the former residential school in Kamloops using ground penetrating radar, the progressive media, the Prime Minister, and other leftists took this as having proven Annett’s version of the narrative. This is the version of the narrative that can be found in “Happy Genocide Day” posted on the Canadian Anti-Hate Network’s website just before Dominion Day last year. All of these leftists have distorted what the Kamloops Indian Band actually claimed. Indeed, the chief of the latter corrected them that the graves in question were “unmarked” not “mass”. Since then, it has been revealed – although not remotely as widely published – that even the claims of the band exceed the evidence. The technique used to discover these “graves” cannot find bodies – only soil disturbances. Earlier this year, retired Manitoba judge Brian Giesbrecht announced that he and other researchers associated with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy had located the death certificates for former students of the Kamloops Residential School listed as “missing” by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and demonstrated that these were mostly buried on their home reserves and not really “missing” at all. More recently Hymie Rubenstein, retired professor of anthropology at the University of Manitoba, has reported on his substack and in the Western Standard on the findings of the anonymous researcher who found that the site where the supposed “unmarked graves” had been found in Kamloops was archeologically significant and as such had been subjected to assessments and excavations from 1983 to 2004, none of which turned up any bodies, and which themselves could explain the discovered soil disturbances. Will the Prime Minister, progressive journalists, and professional anti-hate hucksters admit that there is egg all over their face and that they were too quick to jump on their own distorted interpretation of an announcement itself demonstrated to be less than substantiated by the evidence in order embrace the version of the Residential Schools narrative concocted by Canada’s answer to David Icke, the British sportscaster turned New Age conspiracy theorist who claims that extra-dimensional shape-shifting lizard people from outer space have ruled the world and conspired to thwart human potential since the beginning of history? It is unlikely. The left loves these narratives because they allow them to exploit the sufferings of Indian children late in the history of the schools to indict Canada and her founders, the constitutional limits on government power which they bequeathed to us, the left chafes under.
(9) Out of curiosity I did a general search for “blackface” and “Black face” to try and find which was the preferred spelling. Dictionary entries have it as a single word and the Google search for “Black face” produced a prompt asking if I meant “blackface”. This would suggest that the latter is the preferred spelling.
(10) In the third line of the Horst-Wessel-Lied the Nazis sing about how their comrades had been shot by both the “Reds” (Communists) and “reactionaries”. The anti-Communism of the Nazis was not a reactionary anti-Communism, like that of the Canadian government prior to 1963, including in the period when the American government under FDR was remarkably friendly to the Russian Bolsheviks when they were at their worst (under Stalin), but the anti-Communism of a rival group of revolutionaries, whose differences with the Communists were less significant to anyone other than themselves, than the similarities. It has long been noted that the terror state apparatus of the Third Reich under Hitler resembled nothing so much as that of the Bolshevik regime under Lenin and Stalin. The great Evelyn Waugh captured the reactionary view of these movements, his own, perfectly when in Men at Arms (1952) he has his protagonist, Guy Crouchback, struggling to join the British war effort because the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between Nazi Germany and the USSR had made Britain’s struggle into one against “the Modern World at arms”.
(11) In the United States, “left” and “right” came to be conceived of as a spectrum based upon the size and scope of the state. The further to the right you went on the spectrum, the smaller and less intrusive you wanted the state to be. The further to the left, the larger and more intrusive you wanted it to be. Totalitarianism, in which the state has absolute control, is the furthest to the left you can get on such a spectrum, anarchy in the sense of the non-existence of the state would be the furthest to the right. Later libertarians would modify this on the grounds that it was only true of economics, and that on cultural, moral, and social issues the poles seemed to be reversed (although Robert Nisbet, the traditional sociologist, maintained that the moral and social decay which he and other social conservatives decried was the result of the state absorbing the role and power of communities and other intermediate groups like the family, a view consistent with the old American left-right spectrum being applied to these other areas as well as economics). Originally, “left” and “right” entered political discourse in the French Revolution, not as denoting opposite poles of a spectrum, but literally where people stood in the French assembly relative to the speaker. Those on the “left” supported the Revolution, its aims, and its methods (the Reign of Terror). Those on the “right” opposed it and essentially stood for the same things in eighteenth century France that the Cavaliers-Tories had stood for in seventeenth century England – the monarchy, the Church, and the alliance between the two in the traditional order of Christendom. Someone like myself, an Anglican royalist who prefers the state to be as small as is consistent with order and likes to point out that the state was much smaller before the triumph of the Whigs than after, would be on the right by both standards. By neither standard does the contemporary usage of “far right” to denote Nazis and white racial nationalists in general make sense. Racial nationalism is an entirely Modern phenomenon. The nationalism, is Rousseau’s nationalism, the declaration of “the people” in the sense of the nation – which in racial nationalism is hopelessly confused with the different concept of race, itself a product of Modern science’s obsession with classifying and categorizing everything in its Faustian search for power by means of knowledge – to be sovereign, the nationalism that manifested itself in the French Revolution supported by the original left. Today, racial nationalism on the part of any group that is non-white is still considered to be on the left and tacitly if not openly embraced by the anti-racist left.
(12) Göring borrowed the line from Karl Lueger, who had been mayor of Vienna from 1897 to 1910. Whether he was conscious of the fact that he was borrowing from Lueger, I have no idea. Lueger had said it in the context of explaining why he hung out at dinner-parties with Jews despite his anti-Semitic rhetoric. Göring said it in the context of his protecting Erhard Milch from the Gestapo’s investigation of his background (his father was a Jew). Both men made the statement because they were excluding individuals from the more general prejudice and scapegoating they applied to the group to which they belonged. Conversely, anti-hate organizations who behave as if they believed “neo-Nazis” and “white supremacists” ought to be de-personed, stripped of their human dignity and basic civil rights, spied on and punished by law enforcement agencies as a preventative measure before they can commit hate crimes in a creepy, Philip K. Dick’s “Minority Report” style, and basically, in other words, treat these people the way the actual Nazis treated the Jews, apply these labels to individuals and groups they wish to see treated this way, regardless of whether the groups and individuals would self-apply them or not. In other words, they do the opposite of Göring and Lueger. Instead of excluding individuals they wish to protect from the group targeted for scapegoating, they lump individuals from outside the scapegoated group in with them.
(13) The original draft of Sir John A. Macdonald’s Electoral Franchise Act of 1885 extended the vote to all Indians in Canada. Before this the franchise had been open to them but on condition that they renounce their treaty status and live off reserve. That Indian treaty status and fully franchised citizenship both came with their own distinct privileges had created a dilemma that Canada’s leaders had struggled with since before Confederation in that it was thought that allowing the Indians to have both sets at the same time would not go over well with the rest of the public to which only the one was available. Macdonald, however, had started to think, as Diefenbaker later did, that this was the lesser of two evils. The North-West Rebellion of that year, prevented him from enacting the measure in its original form and Indians west of Upper Canada were excluded. Sir Wilfred Laurier’s Liberals repealed the act – and the franchise to Indians east of Manitoba – in 1898.
(14) Those who consider the term “Indian” itself to be “racist” – and it has been my experience that it is mostly young, white, liberals who object to it on these grounds - would do well to consider that this is the term used in depictions of these people either as bravely and nobly fighting for their doomed way of life against the American cavalry and settlers or trading, making treaties with, and fighting alongside the British and French. The assorted other terms that the politically correct demand that we use, apart from being inadequate as substitutes in that they include two other people groups as well as the Indians and thus cannot be used when a distinction is needed, are the terms always used in depictions of these people as victims of white villains who lack agency of their own and need white hat white liberals to rescue them. The privileged, white, liberal males who fill the staffs of anti-racist organizations that belittle less privileged white males than themselves for their “white privilege” might consider the former term with its set of connotations to be “racist”, but any sane person would regard the latter terms and their connotations to be the more condescending and derogatory.